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Kentucky

Everything you need to plan your hunting trips, from maps to regulations and beyond.

Overview

Known For

Top whitetail hunting state in the country

Terrain

Varies from swampy lowlands, rolling hills, and heavily forested hills and mountains

Kentucky Hunting Seasons

Filter By:
Season Start Date End Date
Bear
Bear – Chase-Only 1

All Zones: June 1-Aug 31

Jun 1, 2022 Aug 31, 2022
Bear
Bear – Chase-Only 2

All Zones: Sep 9-30

Sep 9, 2022 Sep 30, 2022
Bear
Bear – Hunt with Dogs Zone 1

Use of dogs permitted.

Zone 1: Oct 17-21 

Oct 17, 2022 Oct 21, 2022
Bear
Bear – Hunt with Dogs Zone 2

Use of dogs permitted.

Zone 2: Oct 17-21

Oct 17, 2022 Oct 21, 2022
Bear
Bear – Archery Zone 1

Includes Crossbow.

Zone 1: Oct 22-24

Oct 22, 2022 Oct 24, 2022
Bear
Bear – Archery Zone 2

Includes Crossbow.

Zone 2: Oct 22-26 

Oct 22, 2022 Oct 26, 2022
Bear
Bear – Hunt with Dogs Zone 2

Use of dogs permitted.

Zone 2: Oct 27-Nov 4

Oct 27, 2022 Nov 4, 2022
Bear
Bear – Firearm Zone 1

Zone 1: Dec 10-12 

Dec 10, 2022 Dec 12, 2022
Bear
Bear – Firearm Zone 2

Zone 2: Dec 14-14

Dec 14, 2022 Dec 14, 2022
Bobcat
Bobcat
Bag limit 5
Nov 19, 2022 Feb 28, 2023
Coyote
Coyote
No limit
Jan 1, 2022 Dec 31, 2022
Deer
Deer – Archery
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Sep 3, 2022 Jan 16, 2023
Deer
Deer – Youth/Senior Crossbow
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Sep 3, 2022 Jan 16, 2023
Deer
Deer – Crossbow
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Sep 17, 2022 Jan 16, 2023
Deer
Deer – Youth-Only Gun
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Oct 8, 2022 Oct 9, 2022
Deer
Deer – Muzzleloader Late Season
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 18, 2022
Deer
Deer – Muzzleloader Early Season
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Oct 15, 2022 Oct 16, 2022
Deer
Deer – Modern Gun
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Nov 12, 2022 Nov 27, 2022
Deer
Deer – Free Youth Weekend
Bag limits vary by zone. Check regulations for more details.
Dec 31, 2022 Jan 1, 2023
Dove
Dove – 1st Portion
Season 1
Sep 1, 2022 Oct 26, 2022
Dove
Dove – 2nd Portion
Season 2
Nov 24, 2022 Dec 4, 2022
Dove
Dove – 3rd Portion
Season 3
Dec 24, 2022 Jan 15, 2023
Duck
Duck – Wood Duck and Teal
Bag limit is 6; may include no more than 2 wood ducks
Sep 17, 2022 Sep 21, 2022
Duck
Duck – Teal Only
Bag limit is 6
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 25, 2022
Duck
Duck – Youth Waterfowl Early
Eastern Zone.
Nov 5, 2022 Nov 6, 2022
Duck
Duck – Early
Bag limit is 6; may include no more than 4 mallards (only 2 of which may be hens), 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 1 pintail, 2 black ducks and 2 canvasback
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 27, 2022
Duck
Duck – Late
Bag limit is 6; may include no more than 4 mallards (only 2 of which may be hens), 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 2 redheads, 1 pintail, 2 black ducks and 2 canvasback
Dec 7, 2022 Jan 31, 2023
Duck
Duck – Youth Waterfowl Late
Western Zone.
Feb 4, 2023 Feb 5, 2023
Elk
Elk – Archery/Crossbow Either Sex. 1
Elk Zone
Sep 10, 2022 Sep 23, 2022
Elk
Elk – Firearm Bull Week 1
Elk Zone
Sep 24, 2022 Sep 28, 2022
Elk
Elk – Firearm Bull Week 2
Elk Zone
Oct 1, 2022 Oct 5, 2022
Elk
Elk – Firearm Cow Week 1
Elk Zone.
Nov 26, 2022 Nov 30, 2022
Elk
Elk – Archery/Crossbow Either Sex. 2
Elk Zone
Dec 3, 2022 Dec 9, 2022
Elk
Elk – Firearm Cow Week 2
Elk Zone.
Dec 31, 2022 Jan 4, 2023
Fox
Fox – Gray and Red
No limit
Nov 14, 2022 Feb 28, 2023
Goose
Goose – Canada Goose
Bag limit 5 combined. All zones
Sep 16, 2022 Sep 30, 2022
Goose
Goose – Snow & Ross
Bag limit 20
Nov 24, 2022 Feb 15, 2023
Goose
Goose – Canada/Cackling Goose, White-Fronted Goose & Brant
Bag limit 5 combined; 3 Canada geese, 2 white fronted geese and 1 brant.
Nov 24, 2022 Feb 15, 2023
Goose
Goose – Conservation Order
Snow Goose. No limit
Feb 16, 2023 Mar 31, 2023
Hog
Wild Pig
No limit
Jan 1, 2022 Dec 31, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Youth Spring
Bag limit 2.
Apr 1, 2022 Apr 2, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Spring
Bag limit 2.
Apr 15, 2022 May 7, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Fall Archery
Bag limit: 4, either sex. May include additional restrictions.
Sep 3, 2022 Jan 16, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Fall Crossbow 1
Bag limit: 4, either sex. May include additional restrictions.
Oct 1, 2022 Oct 16, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Early Fall Shotgun
Bag limit: 2.
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 28, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Fall Crossbow 2
Bag limit: 4, either sex. May include additional restrictions.
Nov 12, 2022 Dec 31, 2022
Turkey Game Type
Turkey – Late Fall Shotgun
Bag limit: 2.
Dec 3, 2022 Dec 9, 2022

Kentucky Hunting Regulations

Bear

Bear

Bag Limit

The bag limit is one bear per person per license year, regardless of season.

Shooting Hours

30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.

Hunter Orange Requirement

Bear hunters and those who accompany them, or any other person hunting on public or private lands in the bear hunting zones during a firearm season for bears, must comply with the hunter orange clothing law. This requirement also applies to any person chasing bears during the bear quota hunt with dogs season.

Legal Bear Hunting Equipment

  • A modern rifle of 6.5 mm (.264 caliber) or larger, with a magazine capable of holding no more than 10 rounds
  • A muzzle-loading rifle of .45 caliber or larger
  • A handgun loaded with centerfire cartridges with a case length of 1.285 inches or larger, firing bullets of 6.5 mm (.264 caliber) or larger, designed to expand upon impact
  • Firearms may not be fully automatic (capable of firing more than one round with one trigger pull)
  • Full metal jacketed or tracer bullet ammunition is prohibited
  • Archery and crossbow equipment that is legal for deer hunting
  • During the bear hunt with dogs season, hunters may only harvest a bear using a legal weapon assisted by dogs that are actively pursuing, chasing, baying or treeing a bear prior to harvest. Dogs must be included on the department-approved breed list for the bear season.

Deer

Deer

General Deer Information

The statewide deer permit and youth deer permit allow for the harvest of up to four deer. Hunters may take up to one antlered deer and three antlerless deer, or four antlerless deer using the statewide deer permit.

  • The statewide season limit for antlered deer is one per hunter.
  • A hunter may take as many deer as allowed for each zone. In order to take more than four deer statewide, an additional deer permit must be purchased.
  • An additional deer permit allows a hunter to take up to two additional deer beyond the four deer allowed by the statewide or youth deer permits. Zone bag limits apply. Hunters who did not harvest an antlered deer using their statewide or youth deer permits can take one antlered deer and up to one antlerless deer, or up to two antlerless deer with the additional deer permit.
  • Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Legal Deer Hunting Equipment

Scopes are allowed on all hunting equipment (used for statewide seasons).

GUN EQUIPMENT

  • Any caliber centerfire rifle or centerfire handgun.
  • Rifle, handgun or shotgun magazines may not be capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
  • Rifles or handguns may not be fully automatic (capable of firing more than one round with one trigger pull).
  • Full metal jacketed or tracer bullet ammunition is prohibited.
  • Shotguns, no larger than 10-gauge, shooting slug ammunition only (includes saboted bullets).
  • Muzzle-loading rifles, handguns, or shotguns shooting round balls, conical bullets, or saboted bullets.
  • Air guns of .35 caliber or larger charged by an external tank, shooting single projectile ammunition designed to expand upon impact.

ARCHERY EQUIPMENT

  • Longbows, recurves and compound bows of any draw weight (no minimum).
  • Wood, carbon or metal arrows, but arrows may not be chemically treated.
  • Fixed blade or mechanical broadheads at least 7/8” wide (when blades extended), but broadheads may not be chemically treated.

CROSSBOW EQUIPMENT

  • Crossbows of any draw weight (no minimum), with a working safety.
  • Wood, carbon or metal arrows (bolts), but arrows (bolts) may not be chemically treated.
  • Fixed blade or mechanical broadheads at least 7/8” (when blades extended), but broadheads may not be chemically treated.

MUZZLELOADING EQUIPMENT

  • Muzzle-loading rifles or handguns of any caliber, shooting round balls, conical bullets or saboted bullets.
  • Muzzle-loading firearms equipped with open sights or telescopic sights (scopes).
  • Muzzle-loading shotguns no larger than 10-gauge, shooting round balls, conical bullets or saboted bullets.

Shooting Hours

30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.

Zone 1

A hunter may harvest an unlimited number of antlerless deer in Zone 1 using the statewide deer permit and additional deer permits.

Zone 2

A hunter may harvest no more than four deer in Zone 2.

Zone 3

A hunter may harvest no more than four deer in Zone 3. A firearm or air gun cannot be used to take more than one antlerless deer.

Zone 4

A hunter may harvest no more than two deer in Zone 4. Only one can be antlerless. Antlerless deer cannot be harvested during the modern gun season, the early muzzleloader season or the first six days of the late muzzleloader season. The statewide bag limit of one antlered deer still applies.

Bag Limits

Bag limits and harvest restrictions apply to all hunters. There is no dailybag limit on deer. A person may take no more than one (1) deer with visible antlers, excluding male fawns (button bucks). However, on some federally controlled areas, including Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox military reservations and Blue Grass Army Depot, a bonus antlered deer may be taken, as determined by the governing agency for each area.

Elk

Elk

Shooting Hours

30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.

Bag Limit / Hunter Orange Requirement

The season bag limit on elk is one per hunter per season, regardless of permit type. Hunters may not take an elk during a quota elk hunt and also take an elk out-of-zone during the same season. Elk hunters and those who accompany them, or any other person hunting public or private lands in the elk zone during firearm elk seasons, must comply with the hunter orange clothing law.

Migratory Birds

Dove

Sandhill Crane – Bag Limits

The daily bag limit for Sandhill Cranes is 2 cranes for permit holders with 2 or more tags, or 1 crane for permit holders with one tag.

Hunting Requirements

All shotguns used to hunt any game species in Kentucky (except deer) must be plugged to hold three shells total; one in the chamber and two in the magazine. Shotguns of 10 gauge or smaller are permitted.

Dove – Bag Limits

Daily Limit: 15 Possession Limit: 45

Virginia and Sora Rail – Bag Limits

Daily Limit: 25 singly or combined Possession Limit: 75

Woodcock – Bag Limits

Daily Limit: 3 Possession Limit: 9

Snipe – Bag Limits

Daily Limit: 8 Possession Limit: 24

Common and Purple Gallinule – Bag Limits

Daily Limit: 3 singly or combined Possession Limit: 9

Small Game

Small Game

Squirrel – Bag Limit

Daily limit is 6; possession limit is 12.

Rabbit – Bag Limit

Daily limit is 4; possession limit is 8.

Quail – Bag Limit

Daily limit is 8; possession limit is 16.

Shooting Hours

30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.

Raccoon, Opossum, Coyote, Muskrat, Mink, Beaver, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Weasel & Striped Skunk – Bag Limit

No Limit

Bobcat – Bag Limit

5; no more than 3 of which shall be taken with a gun*

River Otter – Bag Limit

10; only 6 of which can be taken from Otter Zone 2

Grouse – Bag Limit

Daily limit is 4; possession limit is 8.

Turkey

Turkey Game Type

Fall Season Bag Limits

  • Four birds total, no more than two (2) of which may be taken with a shotgun.
  • No more than one (1) bird may have a beard length of three (3) inches or longer.
  • No more than one (1) bird may be taken per day.

Shooting Hours

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Hunters may be in the field before and after shooting hours.

Legal Spring Turkey Hunting Equipment

Hunters may only use the following to take turkeys during the spring seasons:

  • Breech-loading or muzzle-loading shotguns no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than .410.
  • Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber).
  • Lead or non-toxic shot no larger than No. 4.
  • Longbows, recurve bows and compound bows of any draw weight (no minimum).
  • Crossbows of any draw weight (no minimum) with a working safety device.
  • Non-barbed broadheads with a minimum cutting diameter of 7/8-inch, whether expandable or non-expandable.

Legal Fall Turkey Hunting Equipment

  • Breech-loading or muzzleloading shotguns no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than .410.
  • Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber)
  • Lead or non-toxic shot no larger than No. 4
  • Longbows, recurve bows and compound bows of any draw weight (no minimum).
  • Crossbows of any draw weight (no minimum) with a working safety device.
  • Non-barbed broadheads with a minimum cutting diameter of 7/8-inch, whether expandable or non-expandable.

Spring Season Bag Limits

A hunter may take a male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. No more than one (1) bird may be taken per day.

No more than two (2) birds may be taken per spring season. Any combination of male turkeys, or turkeys with visible beards, may be included in this two-bird season limit. Turkeys taken by youths during the youth-only season count toward their spring turkey bag limit.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl

Shot Size, Type, Shotshell Length Restrictions

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- approved nontoxic shot no larger than size “T” is required for all waterfowl and sandhill crane hunting. Shot larger than size “T”, or shotshells longer than 3.5 inches, MAY NOT BE POSSESSED OR USED while hunting waterfowl or sandhill cranes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may approve other types of nontoxic shot which, if approved, will be permitted for waterfowl and sandhill crane hunting. Possession or use of any lead shot or any shot not approved by USFWS while hunting or attempting to take waterfowl or sandhill cranes is prohibited statewide. https://www.fws.gov/birds/bird-enthusiasts/hunting/nontoxic.php

Non-Toxic Shot

Possession or use of any lead shot while hunting or attempting to take waterfowl or Sandhill cranes is prohibited statewide. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl. Most major manufacturers offer non-toxic shot shells. A list of non-toxic shot currently approved by the USFWS can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/bird-enthusiasts/hunting/nontoxic.php.

Only USFWS-approved non-toxic shot may be possessed and used to hunt doves, gallinules, rails, woodcock, snipe or other migratory birds on the following WMA’s: Ballard, Boatwright, Doug Travis, Duck Island, Kaler Bottoms, Sloughs, Kentucky River, Ohio River Islands, South Shore, Yatesville Lake, and other areas as posted by signs.

Teal – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 6 Possession Limit: 18

September Canada Goose – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 5 Possession Limit: 15

Ducks – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 6; may include no more than 4 mallards (only 2 of which may be hens),

3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 pintail, 2 black ducks, and 2 canvasback. 1 scaup Nov. 25-28 and Dec. 7-17; and 2 scaupDec. 18 – Jan. 31.

Possession Limit: Triple the Daily Bag Limit

Coot – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 15 Possession Limit: 45

Merganser – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 5; only 2 may be hooded Possession Limit: Triple the daily bag limit

Canada/Cackling Goose, White-Fronted Goose & Brant – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 5 combined; 3 Canada geese, 2 white-fronted geese and 1 brant Possession Limit: Triple the daily bag limit

Snow Goose (including Ross’ Goose) – Bag Limits

Daily Bag Limit: 20 Possession Limit: none

Snow Goose Conservation Order – Bag Limits

No Bag Limit

*Season dates and regulation data provided by

Licenses, Permits and Regulations

Hunting licenses, permits and regulations can be purchased on the official web site of Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.

Hunting GPS Maps

Kentucky Hunting Map Layers App Overview Increase success as you layer hunting zones, wildlife management areas, private property and more over aerial imagery, and topographic basemaps, for the most accurate map on mobile device and desktop. See invisible property lines and seek permission with detailed private and government property boundaries and ownership names. View trails, […]

Hunt Zones

Hunting Layers

KY Private Lands Preview

KY Private Lands

Over 1,900,000 parcels mapped by the onX team, this layer helps you know who the property owners are in Kentucky. Tap any parcel to learn more info about the owner and acreage.

KY Gov Lands Preview

KY Gov Lands

onX has the most accurate public lands maps with over 1,800,000 acres in Kentucky to help you plan your next adventure. Tap any public land parcel to learn more.

KY Possible Access Preview

KY Possible Access

onX has mapped 73,000 acres of possible access lands in Kentucky including timber companies and land conservation groups. Research rules on these private lands before recreating.

SUBLAYERS (2) Expand Sublayers
KY Hunt Zones Thumbnail

KY Hunt Zones

Kentucky Deer and Elk Hunting Zones. Please hunt responsibly, obey all signage and have a safe legal hunt.

Includes 2 Sublayers

  • Deer Zones
  • Elk Zones
KY Public Hunt Areas Preview

KY Public Hunt Areas

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources shows Public Hunt Areas (Wildlife Management Areas) that are for public use. Some areas require a user permit.

KY Restricted Hunting Areas Preview

KY Restricted Hunting Areas

KY Elk Regulated Tracts Preview

KY Elk Regulated Tracts

KY Elk Regulated Tracts are publicly accessible lands. Please hunt responsibly, obey all signage and have a safe legal hunt (onXmaps).


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